Happy New Year for 2017 – good wishes – nice friendly voice messages – montage for Nándor to the Pacific
HAPPY NEW YEAR! HAPPY 2017!
Nándor Fa – Goodbye PARTY before the START of the Vendée Globe – and now HAPPY PARTY FOR EVERYONE – GO for 2017!
31st December Happy New Year! Cheers to you from the SOH77 skipper Nándor Fa !
Nándor in in the top10, 8th since few days – set a personal record of 432 nautical miles (=800,1 km) /24h – and a nice ribbon on the AEZ line for a lucky 2017!
Ship’s Log from onboard Spirit of Hungary:
Nándor had a bit of an and action today – he accidentally crossed the AEZ line for a very short time while he was asleep, but corrected immediatly. He documented it to the VG Race Direction as soon as he realized and received the confirmation within a few minutes – everything is all right, he can continue his way forward.
29th December VENDEEGLOBE
NEW DAY, NEW LOOK, NEW WAVE, NÁNDOR FA is HEADING TO THE LEGENDARY CAPE HORN.
Here you find the latest beautiful view from the SOH77.
Spirit of Hungary Nándor Fa skipper’s message:” SOH77 HEADING TO THE BIG CAPE, everything is all right on board”
Nándor Fa has completed 61% of the theoratically route so far, and has set a personal record of 432 nautical miles (=800,1 km) in one day.
SOH77 Ship’s Log: 28th Dec. 08:50 UTC, in the night,
The hydro-generator on the right side started resonating at 20 knots. I never experienced this before with any of the hydro-generators. Before the start both of them were sent back to the producer for renewal. I checked it very thoroughly and I didn’t notice anything that should cause such vibration and noise. But leaving it unsolved is not an option. I took two 13-size spanners, put on all my clothes and went out to tighten the bolt that holds the case to the stern. The noise has lowered but has not stopped. I already felt more relieved, it shouldn’t be in danger anymore. Later I created a long spanner and reached down do tighten the rest of the bolts, which completely stopped the noise.
I was sailing at 26 knots boat speed! Lots of great things have been happening tonight, although the circumstances are not friendly at all.
Sailing is a sport, where one is doing everything he can including the setting of sails, adjustments, or watching the weather, in order to reach a greater speed or to be in a better position compared to another skipper. You have to take on very much and do very much! At least, as long as the boats are relatively close to one another, the difference is built up by these little things that you constantly do.
Our race is different from inshore racing. It’s extremely long, with vast distances and various types of sections. Even tiny differences can grow to become enormous between boats. Uniquely in our world of racing, significant advantages that were acquired through continuous sleepless attention and loads of work, can disappear within moments. We were racing head-to-head with Conrad for a long time, both of us worked hard to get the most out of our boats and weather possibilities. There was no significant difference between us until we entered a different weather area, which gave Conrad about 60 miles advantage. Then I worked hard for days to catch a front, which allowed me to keep running in high speed for several days. He couldn’t catch the front and his 60 miles advantage became 600 miles distance to my benefit. This has nothing to do with the capabilities of our boats, this is the pure result of opportunities given and taken by global weather systems. After a long period of high speed sailing I ran into several transition zones between fronts, that slowed me down. I couldn’t avoid them, I was forced to fight my way through. In the meantime Conrad was caught up by a front, with which he’s been running after me and within two days he reduced our distance by 200 SM.
As far as I can see, my weather opportunities will remain the same as far as Cape Horn, and Conrad will be able to keep coming after me – until he catches up and then we’ll continue with the same conditions. Nothing’s for sure for the leader Armel either. He’s also developed a 800 miles distance from Alex before Cape Horn, and now he’s been slowed by light wind conditions on the South-Atlantic. The BOSS was given the chance to run up to him, and their match-race begins again. The message of all this, is that you can try to get the most out of your own route, but if someone else is given more favourable conditions, there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it. Literally anything can happen until the you cross the finish line, you can never be sure.
The sun is shining but I still can’t just walk out without getting wet, splashes constantly come and go on the deck. Although I feel better and warmer.
My drinking water started to become salty. At first I didn’t realize it, especially when eating salty meals, or even if just directly drinking. When you are in connection with sea water all the time, you get used to it… I only realized this problem when I made something sweet, like a cup of coffee or tea.
So far I’ve been using both water makers at the same time so that neither of them would get moldy. Now I made water with them one by one to find out which one is faking, and the truth has come out. At the beginning I feared what if both will make salty water like during the Barcelona World Race, but the situation is much better this time. One of them is working properly, now I’m only using that one. Somehow I should save the other one from total contamination, it can’t stay like this until the end of the race, I have to clean it. I’ll probably have to sacrifice some good water and run it through the system, then I’ll disconnect it.
Today I recorded the most beautiful photos and videos of the race. In the beginning only from behind the protection, then I had no other choice but get dressed and go out. I climbed the boom, and went to the end of it. The sunshine has brought fantastic colours, it’s a beautiful ride! I managed to record great footages with two cameras, one of them is a GoPro – the size of a matchbox -, the other one is a 4K Olympus – which is not bigger than the previous one. Both of them are amazing cameras. I remember back onboard St. Jupát we were recording with a camera, that was the size of a bigger watermelon. We recorded our leaving of Cape Town with that camera. Those good old days…
At dawn the Sun smiled at me from behind the clouds. The fact that it seems flat and deep orange is perfectly normal, but I was really surprised to look around in the 3D space and to see it on the South-West. But it’s all right, it should be there. The wind is decreasing and slowly turning to North-West. 90 miles ahead, the ice border goes south too, so I can go deeper too, almost as far as Cape Horn.
Position: 29th dec., 07:20 UTC, 51° 18,8′ S, 142° 21,6′ W, everything is all right.
VG OFFICIAL ARTICLE: with Nándor’s quotes: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/17613/the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving-or-taking
#VendéeGlobe2016 #spiritofhungary #FaNándor #SOH77
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26th Dec. 15:00 UTC, in the morning.
The night is really special now – the dawn does not turn into night, but goes around the Antarctic and comes back, bringing a looming light to me. It never turns completely dark, and I can see this as clear as never before, as the ceiling of clouds has become thinner. The Sunlight shines over here from the other side. This phenomenon is perfectly usual in Scandinavia, that days and nights in winter cannot be distinguished as obviously. Here it’s similar to that, but I’m not enough close to the South to have a constant daylight.
I’ve been hoisting and changing sails very frequently in the morning, couldn’t even finish my breakfast properly. The Sun’s come out, allowing me to hang out some things including my socks to dry up. And then I put myself out to dry too. For the first time after so many weeks, I wasn’t wearing the drysuit.
The wind is blowing from the West, I’m gybing in total downwind. We’re bypassing bubbles of lighter winds by tacking every 40-50 miles. We managed to catch the edge of one of them and slowed down immediately. Theoretically, there should be only one more to pass and then we can stop gybing, the wind should become more Northerly so we could be sailing on one tack – according to the routing, approximately for 1100 SM.
The skin on my hands is like if I was wearing a thin pair of gloves made of tin. It’s already come off and been replaced two times since we started. The skin dies in little spots and comes off. It looks really ragged. My nails hurt too, they are inflamed because of the cold seawater-“treatment”. I tried washing it with sweet-water every time when coming inside the cabin, but it didn’t help. I guess it will get better when we’re on the Atlantic again and the temperature rises.
It looks I’m about to have another day of light downwind before I can finally speed up. There’s a surprisingly wide lane of light winds between the two fronts. One of the fronts is of tropical origin, the other one has just formed below New Zealand and is happening at the moment. The latter one is much bigger and is quite concerning, I don’t want to be any near. Life has become really calm for me, too calm. I’m longing for some whirring and splashing, or something that indicates the boat is going fast. I’m more or less following the routing, I don’t want to get too far away from it. Right now I’m faster than the suggested route, but if I get away too much, the forecasts won’t be true for me anymore. Could be, that I might benefit from a different route, but I can’t know that for sure. The routing sees everything, I’m not smarter than it is. I’m downloading and refreshing several types of routings to see what’s the most likely to happen in reality. Even so, there is a chance of mistaking, but the risk is much smaller this way.
Position: 27th dec, 07:50 UTC, 51° 23,7′ S, 160° 56,8′ W, everything’s all right.
1st Ship’s Log of the 8th week in the Vendée Globe 2016: “Dead calm with high seas or huge swells is deadly! Now swells are coming from somewhere and they are basically tearing my boat apart. In the following days I will have stronger but unfortunately rhapsodic winds…I called my family on the phone yesterday, who were gathering around the Christmas Tree at home, but my mind wasn’t in a very christmasy mood.”
24th Dec. 23:20 UTC, in the morning,
In the early morning – which is the evening back home – I called my family on the phone, who were gathering around the christmas tree at home, but my mind wasn’t in a very christmasy mood. I was thinking of very different things, other than the Christmas Tree.
Ever since I crossed the date line the wind has been decreasing and by now I have come into a total lull, which is the mixed zone between two fronts. It’s developed in such a long North-South direction that I couldn’t avoid it. According to the routing and in reality too, I need to crawl North at least 50 SM because that way it’s going to be easier to break through the zone.
Now I had enough time to lower the main sail and check it. The patches I put on the frayed spots a few days ago were gone. The Sun is shining, it’s warm and dry, I even washed the sail with acetone, but the patches still won’t stick on. They are coming off instantly as I put them on. I’m very disappointed because this is the second time I’m working on this, and I don’t understand why it doesn’t work. There must be some sort of layer on the sail but I have no idea what to do with it. Fortunately the fraying is just slight and it’s not a life-threatening problem right now. I decided that the next time I will simply darn it with a thick dynema thread, like my mother used to darn our socks. After lunch I hoisted the A3, which I reached serious 3-4 knots with.
Finally I opened my Christmas presents: a little champagne, chocolate, different kinds of cakes, and two photo albums.
Dead calm with high seas or huge swells is deadly! Now swells are coming on us from somewhere and they are basically tearing my boat apart. If I hoist my sails like I did now: mainsail and the A3, they have a fair chance of being damaged. If I don’t hoist the sails, the situation is even worse because there is nothing to soothe the deadly dance. I don’t need too much, just 6-7 knots to become more stable.
In the afternoon I got the forecasted wind, although it’s lighter than it should be. At least we are moving forward. I’m going North at least 40 miles more, so that we could reach the bridge over the dead zone. After that I’ll be able to sail in more useful directions, although I’ll still have some hard work to do before I can get on another train.
Paul Meilhat onboard SMA – the winner boat of the previous race – announced his retirement. I am very sorry for him too, he’s been racing in a very disciplined way over there in the front of the fleet with Jérémie Beyou. They’ve come from the same school, same “classroom”. His keel ram was broken. Every boat is obliged to have an alternative fixing mode – I also have one on SOH -, that helps to fix the keel in the middle position. With that, he could even finish the race, but maybe his damage was more serious than I imagine. He probably wasn’t able to fix it safely for some reasons. So now he’s been sailing to the North towards Polynesia for several days.
Not only winds, but angry clouds have been approaching us from wind direction. I quickly put on the work suits, in case I have to jump and do something suddenly. Such enormous sails can’t be hoisted without constant control, otherwise they can do serious trouble if something goes wrong. The Sun is gone, grey and dark grey colours are changing shifts, they rule the world here again.
The wind has increased, at 30 knots I took down the A3 and put it away in the bow. In the following days I will have stronger but unfortunately very rhapsodic winds as I’m sailing in the front of the front among rain clouds. But at least something is blowing and I can progress. How much progress can I make, I can’t say at the moment. We’ll see what the average of 12 and 20 knots means.
Not long after having changed sails, I reached the northerly height and gybed to starboard tack. From now on, every single mile brings us forward. In this direction we are running together with the swells, they carry us as we surf on them – which is party good, partly not. It’s good because they bring us forward, it’s not so good because they are spinning the boat and make it really hard for the autopilot to steer. I’ve lost 15 hours of the race, which means at least 200 miles.
In the afternoon I opened my Christmas champagne. After the boat and the ocean I got a sip too, which felt very nice. Thank you so much for the person who hid it for me as a gift!
Position: 25th dec., 07:50 UTC, 51° 59′ S, 177° 20′ W, everything is all right.